Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
a Greek poet, born in Crete, and highly revered as a prophet and natural sage at Athens, where he came by invitation B.C. cir. 596, and spent a long life. Our chief account of him is given by Diogenes Laeitius (1:10). He is said to have written prose works on sacrifices and the political constitution of Crete, together with two letters to Solon, which have all perished, as the extant copies of the last are spurious. Diogenes also attributes to him poetical works entitled the "Genesis and Theogony" of the Curetes and Corybantes (in 5000 verses), an epic on Jason and the Argonauts (in 6500 verses), and an epic on Minos and Rhadamanthys (in 4000 verses); but it is doubtful whether he ever wrote them. He may have been the author of poems called "Useful" and "Pure" ( Χρησιμοί and Καθαρμοί ), which are ascribed to him by other ancient authorities (Suidas, s.v. Ε᾿Πιμενίδης ; Strabo, 10, page 479; Pausan. 1:14, 4). But all these have equally perished. He is probably referred to by the apostle Paul in the words ( Titus 1:12; see Alford, Gr. Test. in loc.), "One of themselves [the Cretans], even a prophet of their own, said, 'The Cretans are always liars,'" etc., apparently quoting from certain old-fashioned poems written upon skins, and popularly attributed to Epimenides. — Smith, Dict. of Class. Biogr. s.v.; Heinrich, Epimenides aus Creta (Lpz. 1801); also the monographs De Epimenide of Gottschalck (Altorf, 1714), and Schuremann (Hafn. 1733).
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
A philosopher of Crete of the 7th century B.C., of whom it is fabled that he fell asleep in a cave when a boy, and that he did not awake for 57 years, but it was to find himself endowed with all knowledge and wisdom. He was invited to Athens during a plague to purify the city, on which occasion he performed certain mysterious rites with the effect that the plague ceased. The story afforded Goethe a subject for a drama entitled "Das Epimenides Erwachen," "in which he symbolises his own aloofness from the great cause of the Fatherland, the result of want of faith in the miraculous power that resides in an enthusiastic outbreak of patriotic feeling."